Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bike: Lactate Threshold Test

There we go again... The week of lactate threshold tests continues and this time, I got to suffer on the bike. And what sufferfest that was!! Because I cannot control the road conditions (traffic lights and hills and wind and crazy drivers, that is) I decided to go to the gym and do this test on the stationary bike.

The protocol was almost identical to that of the run LT test, with the difference that I was supposed to hold a speed above 90rpms for 30 min, where the last 20min were meant to determine the lactate threshold. I wasn't quite sure how hard to go off the bat, so I did the following, on a Life Fitness upright bike:

15 min easy at L5-L7, 75-85rpm
10 min hard at L12, 90-92rpm
20 min hard trying to stay above 90-92rpm, incrementally going from L12 to L15 each 5 min
15 min easy at L1-L5

My heart rate kept on raising by bumps throughout the exercise, but I think I overshot the beginning of the 30min interval by a few difficulty levels and I ended up entering the LT interval in a high gear that I could hardly maintain without a large amount of effort, which quickly resulted in a puddle of sweat around the bike and me  holding on the handlebars for my dear life. When I reached 5 minutes before the end of the 20min interval I had to go down a level to L14 as I felt like passing out. Managed to remain on track for the last 5 minutes, but not without wondering if I was going to survive.

The last 15 minutes of cooldown came as a release and I swore not to return to the gym anytime soon. Now, to make you understand how hard I pushed on that bike from hell, here's the graph from my Polar HRM:

You know, naturally you tend to have a lower HR on the bike than on the run, right? Well, I ended up with almost the same LT threshold as the run. So going forward, my coach said that we should look at the overall HR as well and this one is lower by 10bpm than the run, so we're ok, I'm definitely not going to go back near these limits in my regular training.

In the end, I'm still not quite sure what my bike zones are going to be, but I will update the post when I find out.

And that's it with the tests for now, I hope (wait, I didn't do the swim yet, ouch). After the gym I jumped in my car and drove to a cidery a few kilometers north west from home to meet a few members of a local triathlon club, the Fletcher's Meadow Cross Trainers. This past week I joined their club and also became a member of Triathlon Ontario association, yo! They seem to be pretty active, organizing weekly speed work sessions for running and open water swims, which I will start next week, if I receive my wetsuit on time.

I am happy that I met more folks who are passionate about triathlons and are also very nice and welcoming individuals. I am looking forward to training with them in my hood and getting to know them better. Who knows, maybe soon you'll see me wearing a Falcons shirt too.

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